Archive for April, 2005

30.04.05 | Comments Off

Fair Trade

For years Mexico has given us millions of illegal immigrants that keep wages low and taxes high. The other day they offered something new – a model. Their President, Vicente Fox, admitted he was wrong. Bush once promised to grant amnesty to undocumented Mexicans. We should let him, if he’ll also follow Fox’s example.

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29.04.05 | Comments Off

Keeping Us Informed

The President’s news conference, mostly old, contained a few admissions: he can’t do anything about gas prices, Social Security repair means 70% get smaller benefits, no one knows when troops might return from Iraq. The fog of fuzz featured few facts, but phrases are longer – twelve words between pauses vs. eight a few years […]

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28.04.05 | Comments Off

Regress or Progress?

Hastert says the House will rescind changes to the ethics rules. If it does, the committee will launch an investigation of Tom DeLay. Hip, Hip, Hurray. Perhaps they’ll censure him again, bringing his recent total to four. It will have as much effect as the first three. Maybe even more, since it can’t be less. […]

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27.04.05 | Comments Off

Fooling with Schooling

No Child Left Behind, promoted by one Texan, signed by another, triggered a $440,000 fine on Texas by a third. Since the law generated intra-family squabbles, no wonder other states attack. NCLB sounded good, but Bush executed it like he did Iraq.

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26.04.05 | 2

Snow Job

A foot of heavy stuff left some trees prayerful, others in scattered shreds. Overhead wires snapped and wrapped themselves ‘round random poles. Most plows had retired, the rest were out of salt. No power meant no news, no poem, and worse, it wasn’t even Bush’s fault.

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25.04.05 | Comments Off

Let The Public Decide

The Washington Post says American Express receipts prove lobbyists paid for Tom DeLay’s trip to England. They also establish he didn’t report the full cost and exceeded the time limit for foreign travel established by House rules. The ethics committee may refuse to evaluate the evidence, but Americans don’t need any help understanding credit cards.

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24.04.05 | Comments Off

The Bush Energy Plan

Some economists seem mystified. We adjust to fifty-five dollar oil and increase spending on other stuff. They say we do less manufacturing, the price per barrel rose slowly and, considering inflation, is low enough. The real reason is the tax cut. It didn’t create jobs, but without it, average folks would find paying for gasoline […]

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23.04.05 | Comments Off

The IRS Got Audited

We all keep records for the IRS, but they don’t keep records for us. They spent 2.8 million dollars on tuition assistance for employees, but they don’t know who went to class. They don’t know if anyone passed. That might not be a major issue, but recipients that don’t pass a class have to give […]

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22.04.05 | Comments Off

A Learning Experience

Eight school districts in three states, and the largest teacher’s union, sued the Bush Administration to stop requiring them to finance “No Child Left Behind� with local taxes. They say law insists the federal government fund anything it demands. This must mystify President Bush. He puts everything on the cuff.

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21.04.05 | 1

Ambassadorial Ambiguity

The Battle over Bolton bogs down as allegations of boorishness crop up. Democrats surely want his nomination stopped, but do Republicans really care? If Democrats achieve a victory, some may hesitate to fight the filibuster rule. And keeping Bolton’s character in play, helps divert the spotlight from DeLay.

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20.04.05 | Comments Off

Tempus Expirare

Ann Coulter made the cover of Time. That was not sublime. I have no idea what they said. No doubt something I would dread. I scribbled “return” on the envelope. They’ll pay a hefty price — I hope. I won’t subscribe again. That would be a sin.

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19.04.05 | Comments Off

The Dick Clark of Politics

Ralph Reed attempts to parlay experience as head of the Christian Coalition, high-priced political communications consultant, Bush campaign advisor, and chairman of Georgia Republicans into Lieutenant Governor. Is Ralph on a ladder or a slide? His political base is upset that long-time friend, “Casino Jackâ€? Abramoff, paid him more than $4 million to help close […]

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18.04.05 | Comments Off

Mixed Message

Not too long ago a major retailer received bad press because the contractor who cleaned their stores at night hired illegal immigrants. According to the Washington Post, Utah is taking away driver’s licenses from tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and issuing them “driving privilege cards.â€? If someone can be identified as being in this […]

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17.04.05 | Comments Off

Hidden Treasure

The House buried permission for state and local governments to delay meeting clean air standards deep in the energy bill. It lets “downwindâ€? communities wait to solve problems with their air until “upwindâ€? polluters fix theirs. Representative Joe L. Barton, author of the provision, says “I’m not trying to abolish standards or gut the Clean […]

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16.04.05 | Comments Off

Elastic Border Control

Surprised to learn his new rules required U.S. citizens to show a passport when returning from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean, President Bush instructed Condoleezza Rice and the Department of Homeland Security to look for flexibility to accommodate regular travelers. “When I first read that in the newspaper about the need to have passports…I said, […]

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15.04.05 | Comments Off

Tom DeLay Elucidates

“I said something in an inartful way… I shouldn’t have said it that way… I apologize for saying it that way… It was taken wrong. I didn’t explain… or clarify my remarks, as I’m clarifying them here. I am sorry that I said it that way… I shouldn’t have.” As President Bush has said: “That […]

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14.04.05 | Comments Off

Plan of Inaction

One would think the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Terror would be enough for one country, but Republicans want more war. They are angry at some judges and with faces red and fists pounding they risk a Senate meltdown to end nomination filibusters. If Republicans succeed in this power grab, Democrats should refuse any “unanimous […]

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13.04.05 | Comments Off

Managing Our Money

Majority Leader Frist asked Senators to separate immigration from the supplemental military spending bill. He wants to stop them from packing pet projects into this unstoppable measure. He didn’t mention amendments that provide funds to repair forest roads in California and build a baseball stadium in DC, or one to let Mississippi drill for oil […]

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12.04.05 | Comments Off

Law Makers?

Majority Leader Tom DeLay enjoyed a golfing excursion to Scotland, so did Republican committee chair Bob Ney. Both $100,000 trips appear to be indirect gifts from a busy lobbyist. The Congressmen claim they followed House rules scrupulously. Lawyers for lobbyist “Casino Jackâ€? Abramoff say his actions “are commonplace in Washington, and totally proper.â€? If House […]

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11.04.05 | Comments Off

Duh?

Not too many years ago we solved Social Security’s problem. We raised taxes to create a trust fund to pay for the bulge of baby boomers. Now Bush says there’s nothing there. He doesn’t know he spent it? Selling his non-solution to his “crisis” strips the fund of millions more. As in Viet Nam, we […]

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